IFC to Invest in BlaBlaCar to Boost Long-Distance Shared Mobility in Brazil

IFC to Invest in BlaBlaCar to Boost Long-Distance Shared Mobility in Brazil

IFC has signed an agreement to invest in BlaBlaCar to support the shared-travel platform’s growth in Brazil and boost access to affordable, convenient, and environmentally-friendly travel. The $15 million investment from IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, would support the expansion of BlaBlaCar’s carpooling and bus marketplace in Brazil, where the company already has 12 million members.

Paris, France, June 16, 2022

Founded in 2006 and established in Brazil in 2015, BlaBlaCar leverages technology to fill empty seats on the road, matching passengers looking to travel with a carpool driver or bus operator. Since then, BlaBlaCar’s community has become the largest carbon-saving travel network, with over 100 million members worldwide.

“We look forward to leveraging IFC’s deep experience in developing countries to further grow our convenient, secure, and low-cost offering for long-haul travel in Brazil and other emerging markets where we operate. We have the opportunity to improve access to mobility in these markets by further developing our carpooling offering while accelerating the digitalization of long-distance buses.”
- Nicolas Brusson, CEO and Co-Founder of BlaBlaCar
Makhtar Diop, Managing Director of IFC and Nicolas Brusson, co-founder and CEO of BlaBlaCar during a meeting at BlaBlaCar headquarters on Wednesday 15 June. Photo ©Davide Leggio.

BlaBlaCar has been growing fast in Brazil, recovering well from the pandemic, with twice as many passengers today than in 2019. In the first quarter of 2022, the platform registered an average of 250,000 new members every month. Since 2020, the world’s leading long-distance carpooling platform also offers bus tickets on its marketplace to support the digitalization of bus companies in Brazil. Currently, BlaBlaCar’s Brazilian platform includes 12,000 routes served by 122 bus companies, which is forecast to rise to 300 partner companies by the end of 2022.

“The digitization of transport is creating new opportunities for emerging economies to overcome a lack of adequate physical infrastructure. Our investment in BlaBlaCar to help them further expand in Latin America and other emerging markets reflects our commitment to supporting the adoption of innovative, climate-friendly business models in emerging markets and increasing people’s access to quality services, particularly among women, young people, and rural communities.”
- Makhtar Diop, IFC’s Managing Director

Consumer demand for long-distance road transportation is high across Brazil’s vast geography, but the sector’s infrastructure is often inadequate. With the private sector’s help, the country can modernize its transport infrastructure and tackle challenges such as opaque pricing and safety. Currently, paper tickets dominate, with online sales making up less than 15 percent of all bus ticket sales.

IFC has significant experience in investing in innovative transportation companies, including Bolt, Tembici, Gojek, and PickMe, and helping accelerate the growth of their businesses with the support of IFC capital, strategic guidance, and local knowledge and networks. As the company’s only investor exclusively focused on emerging markets, IFC aims to help BlaBlaCar expand in Brazil, India, Mexico, Turkey, and post-war Ukraine.

IFC’s investment is subject to the company’s shareholder approval, which is expected on June 23, 2022.

About IFC
IFC—a member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In fiscal year 2021, IFC committed a record $31.5 billion to private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity as economies grapple with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

About BlaBlaCar
BlaBlaCar is the world’s leading community-based travel network enabling over 100 million members to share a ride across 22 markets. BlaBlaCar leverages technology to fill empty seats on the road, connecting members looking to carpool or to travel by bus, and making travel more affordable, sociable and convenient. BlaBlaCar’s environmentally and human-friendly mobility network saves 1.6 million tons of CO2 and enables 80 million human connections every year. For more information, visit www.blablacar.com

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